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How to hire people?

Updated on January 6, 2018

The loss of trust, within your own department or organization, that comes from internal misconduct, is one of the most frustrating and disconcerting situations that anyone can face. The fact is that most occupations rely upon a certain level of trust, and a granting of power or authority. In the end, though, this is a person that is being trusted, and empowered, and people can have flaws.

How do you minimize these possibilities? A thorough program, utilizing layers of review, inspection and careful consideration.

Such a program utilizes an extensive and well designed application, an efficient review of provided information, some form of personality assessment tool, at least one personal interview and a set of controls, to minimize the possibility of missing, or ineffectively conducting any of these steps. Each layer, or phase of the process, is designed to provide a greater level of insight, into the nature of the applicant. This understanding it essential, if we are to be able to predict, with reasonable certainty, the future actions of that applicant.

This being said, it is essential that we understand that, as human nature changes to fit differing circumstances, this "reasonable certainty" is not a guarantee of future behavior. This is simply an educated forecast, and, therefore, subject to future modifications.

The most important step in this process is the application itself. A well designed application will act not only as a source of information, but will communicate to the applicant the level of skill and sophistication with which the resulting process will be handled. A properly written application will deter some of those persons that you would prefer not to have within your company, even before you have spoken directly to them. Seek the assistance of your legal counsel, in the design of the questions, which you include in this process. Clearly state some of the employment requirements, which might be indications of questionable behavior or intent. Some good examples are: include references to drug screening practices, reference investigations or bonding applications. These are avoided by most of those persons that are inclined to later create liability issues for you.

Following the application process, the data must be confirmed. The intent to do this will be clearly understood by most applicants, if the application itself is professionally written, presented and explained. This, too, will cause some of the less desirable applicants to turn away. It is a well-known fact that an alarming number of employers fail to effectively confirm information, which is provided on employment applications. Any professional experience should be confirmed, as should critical aspects of training, education or certifications. An honest applicant will assist you, in confirming these facts, as they tend to be proud of their achievements.

Once the history of an applicant has been examined, and if a decision is made to pursue the issue further, the next steps become the indicators of the future. Regardless of the order in which these occur, the applicant should be assessed through both a professionally designed and executed personality assessment tool, and through direct interview and questioning.

Assessment tools, when properly designed and executed, can provide critical insight into the nature of the person in question. Typically, these interviews are designed to provide indications of relative levels of honesty, dedication, human interaction skill and similar personality traits. As with each stage of this process, this is not a guarantee of future behavior, but it is usually a good indication of past performance. It is critical that the specific interview utilized is appropriate for the nature of the position sought. The consumer is strongly cautioned that some interviews are, although well written for their intended application, not appropriate for our industry, or specific sub-field of the industry.

The second aspect of understanding the applicant is meeting them in person. Although assessment tools are usually good insights into the nature of the person, they cannot replace direct human contact, when determining if an individual is a good fit for the environment in which they intend to work. Ideally, the applicant should be interviewed not only by the applicable decision-maker, but also by those that they might have to work with, or around. Occasionally, individuals will have the skills to perform a task, the experience to understand the position and the dedication to execute those duties effectively, yet they find themselves not being effective, as a result of indefinable personality conflicts. It is essential that an attempt is made, to identify such miscasting, before the experience of the applicant, potential coworkers and the employment environment are compromised by such an error.

Once an applicant has cleared each layer of the program, it then becomes essential that they are supported, and encouraged. Few persons want to perform a task for which they are not trained, supported or encouraged to succeed. Failing to follow through with this phase often compromises the dedication and loyalty of those who feel victimized by the process.

Again, it is essential that the changing nature of human behavior be recognized, and accommodated. Even a person who was once fiercely loyal, can behave in a surprising manner, if placed in a poor situation. Keep in mind also that this stress may not be work-related. Changes in one's personal life can easily alter their view of the work environment, and interactions with others. Be mindful of this.

The selection of applicants can be a very complex and stressful process. By laying out a formal plan, and recognizing the need to identify certain aspects of the applicant, the process can be made more effective, and less frustrating.

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